What is DNA and how could it clarify the case of María Belén Bernal

DNA is the material that contains hereditary information in humans. Thanks to a test of this type crimes have been discovered, but it is not always infallible.

The disappearance of the lawyer María Belén Bernal, which occurred on September 11, has put the investigative work to the test of the Public Prosecutor’s Office and the Police.

Bernal disappeared in a confusing fact after entering the Higher School of Police in Quito, but never came out. She went to this place to visit her husband, Germán Cárdenas.

Cuenca and Cumbayá divide points at the start of Date 11

Precisely, Cárdenas is wanted because he left the place in a car and alone. The first research work found brown spots on the mattress in Cáceres’s bedroom, as well as a handprint on the wall.

Both of them indications are being subjected to laboratory tests and in the first days of the following week it will be known if the stain on the mattress was a person’s blood.

It is also sought to know if the stain is from Bernal. To verify this, a DNA analysis will be used based on the evidence found. But,What is DNA And why could it help in Bernal’s case?

DNA, hereditary information

DNA or deoxyribonucleic acid is the material that contains hereditary information of humans and almost all other organisms.

In general, the cells of the body, including those present in the blood, have the same DNA. In simple terms, it could be said that DNA is an accumulation of genes, that allow to identify an organism, and in this case a person.

The structure of DNA was first revealed in 3D in 1953, by scientists James Watson and Francis Crick, who years later won the Nobel Prize for their work.

Because DNA contains hereditary information, it is used to compare the relationship between one person and another, as in paternity tests.

Generally, the analysis can determine blood relations between people, since close relatives share bits of genetic material.

For this reason, the sample that was found in the Police School was matched with the DNA of the mother of María Belén Bernalto check if it belongs to the missing lawyer.

Forensic science

In 1986, DNA analysis was first used to solve a crime. It was about the murder of two girls in Leicestershire (England).

Since then, forensic science has developed various techniques for using DNA analysis to discover crimes and offenders.

Even if have reopened the so-called ‘cold cases’ or crimes that had remained unsolved due to lack of evidence. And then they are investigated with modern forensic techniques.

With current forensic technology it is possible to identify a suspect’s hair color and facial features from a DNA sample.

But, the science portal ‘International Science Teaching Foundation’ warns that a genetic test does not guarantee 100% that the sample belongs to an individual.

“Y should not be treated as a foolproof test of guilt in an investigation”, points out the specialized portal.

DNA testing is also prone to error, especially if the process of collecting, storing, or transporting an evidence was not ‘extremely rigorous’.

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What is DNA and how could it clarify the case of María Belén Bernal